STATE – The traditions of parades, cookouts, and fireworks help us celebrate the summer season, especially our nation’s birthday on the Fourth of July. However, a joyful celebration can turn into a painful memory when children and adults are injured while using fireworks. Each year emergency rooms are full of patients who are injured by illegal fireworks.
State troopers and other law enforcement officers will be enforcing the state’s laws to stem the flow of illegal fireworks into New Jersey from other states. It is a crime to sell, use, and/or possess any kind of fireworks including firecrackers, Roman candles, M80’s, cherry bombs, salutes, and even sparklers in New Jersey without a valid permit. In any given year, the State Police confiscate between 500 and 1,000 cases of illegal fireworks, or approximately six to eight tons of illegal explosives.
As in past years, fireworks vendors from Pennsylvania have been soliciting New Jersey residents by mail to purchase fireworks. Police will be watching for motorists who visit surrounding states to purchase fireworks and transport them back to New Jersey.
Possession of fireworks is a disorderly persons offense, but possession with the intent to sell is a fourth-degree offense, with a possible maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.
“Because safety is our number one concern during Fourth of July celebrations, we encourage New Jersey residents to attend community fireworks displays that are handled by professionals with the appropriate permits,” Attorney General Paula Dow said.
“Illegal fireworks will not be tolerated in New Jersey,” stated Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The vast majority of these dangerous items are brought into our state by adults, but it is children who suffer many of the injuries,” he added.
Hearing and sight can be permanently damaged when even a simple firecracker goes off too close to a person’s head. Larger charges such as M-80s can easily remove fingers, or otherwise maim users.
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